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How To Be A More Present Parent?

Sober mum Kate explains how she went from passed-out to present after quitting alcohol, and how it has benefited her and her children. We were inspired by Kate’s conviction with the changes she’d made, putting the booze aside to be a more present parent and wanted to share it with you so too!

Passed-Out

Aside from my two pregnancies, I have drunk fairly consistently since I was a teenager. And when I say consistently, I mean around 350 days a year. By the time I quit, just over 5 months ago, I was drinking a bottle of wine a night and more on weekends or when I went out; nobody ever told me I should stop, which is crazy when you think about it.

There are a couple of reasons for that:

1. I was fun. I was confident, good company, bought rounds, broke the ice in awkward groups, and liked to laugh.

2. There was no need for them to worry because I was a good parent. I was always there when my kids needed me, I got up every day, did school runs, after-school clubs, attended every school play, had their friends over for sleepovers, organized cool parties – I was a fun parent.

present

However, when you remind yourself daily that your kids know what you look like drunk, know what you sound like slurring, what you look like blacked-out on the couch, and are probably worried every time they see you open a bottle of wine, that one or all of those things might happen to the person who looks after them…. well, that kind of guilt eats you up. And I took that guilt in with open arms because I deserved every ounce of it.

Think about it. In addition to all the well-documented damage that alcohol does to your mental and physical health, how on earth can you possibly live a happy life when you wake up every morning filled with self-hatred, regret and shame? You can’t.

Present

Since I have stopped drinking alcohol, my kids (11 and 12) have openly told me how proud they are of me. There is no question that they have noticed the difference. I have more energy, I never wake up embarrassed that I’m still in my clothes from the night before, and I never worry about (or forget) what I said to them or repeat questions only to receive looks that say, ‘We already told you this’. We do more things because I don’t have to worry about not driving after 7pm and we go to places that don’t sell alcohol because I’m not secretly thinking ‘You play, I will have a glass of wine’.

I finally feel like the role model I wanted to be when I got pregnant. I wake up proud of myself every morning. Not only that, but I feel confident in everything I am doing – even if I make mistakes – because I know I’m doing my ‘real’ best, not just a stellar job at acting like a good mum. 

Giving up alcohol has given me the life I wanted. That I didn’t even realize I was missing. But now I am living it, I will never go back. I can’t. Not for them, not for me.

This was a guest blog, stirred by Kate for YADA Collective. If you’d like to follow what Kate has been up to, check out their Instagram @walking_the_straight_line.

If you enjoyed this blog, you can check out our other blogs here, or send us a message if you’d like to write for YADA.